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Good morning, Ned

I have probably a bit of an unusual question(s) for you today.

I am a Canadian having recently flown the following routes in Russia:

KZN-TJM
TJM-KZN

https://www.google.ca/maps/dir/Kaz%C3%A1n,+Tartarist%C3%A1n,+Rusia/Tium%C3%A9n,+%C3%93blast+de+Tium%C3%A9n,+Rusia/@56.115967,53.381227,6z/data=!4m14!4m13!1m5!1m1!1s0x415ead2b7caccd99:0x7fcb77b9b5ad8c65!2m2!1d49.0660806!2d55.8304307!1m5!1m1!1s0x43bbe15d51a3b8c7:0x9b137b6a2aa36793!2m2!1d65.5250172!2d57.1612975!3e4

(Kazan, Russia to Tyumen, Russia and vice versa)

My concern is this: do such short flight paths of around 1000km typically arc North or South when flying to their destination? The reason I ask is, if you were to draw a straight line from Kazan to Tyumen, you would pass over a city called Yekaterinburg. 120km South of Yekaterinburg is a Lake Karachay, said to be the world's most radioactively contaminated in the world. It was in the vicinity of a nuclear development plan that had several accidents during the Soviet years.

About halfway into the flight, I noticed some other passengers passing around a map of a nondescript city or town on a smart phone and speaking about something, not being able to understand, I became really paranoid they had GPS'd that we passed over the area or something. I'm not sure if I'm overthinking here or what.

Essentially, I'm just curious if there is some way we flew directly over the area and passengers in these two flights on a small Bombardier CRJ jet might have been exposed to this contamination over the flight, either on the way there or back?

If you don't mind having a look at the provided 'route' on Google maps, maybe you can say whether or not it seems likely that the flight would pass through, or close, to the area - let's say within 100km or so? Geographically, the problem area is the town called 'Ozersk' which is midway between Yekaterinburg and Chelyabinsk - two major cities South of the assumed flight path.

Thanks for your help! Sorry, if this is a bit strange and burdensome of a question. I tried to contact the airline about specific flight paths but they can't provide the direct information, or the staff at the contact department doesn't understand some of the English vocabulary I was using.

Jesse

Answer
Hi Jesse, you have not provided enough information to tell if your route was near the lake. However, at jet speeds the danger from contamination over an area this small could not be enough to be a problem in any case. Especially at jet altitudes.

Ned

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Ned Dolan

Expertise

38 years as a professional pilot. Worked as an instructor for a major airline, as a tow pilot towing gliders and flew international routes until 1998. Do not know much about the maintenance end of the business.

Experience

Teaching new Captains the skills and knowledge needed to occupy the position. Helping develop procedures for use in a new airplane type. (B757)

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